Sports are a great activity for all ages but it is particularly beneficial for children, whether it's team-based or individual, for many different reasons. We take a look at just how sport and physical activity can benefit young children throughout their childhood and beyond, from improving their health to increasing their self esteem.
Regular physical activity benefits health in many ways; it helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, all of which are essential to a child growing up. Physical activity also helps to control weight and reduce fat, as well as preventing the development of high blood pressure, which benefits your child's health long term. According to statistics, if children participate in sport from a young age then they are more likely to continue with sport during their adult years, therefore keeping them healthier for longer.
Playing sport will also help children develop social skills which can benefit them for life. They'll learn to interact with other children, therefore improving their social life and making new friends, but they'll also interact with other individuals such as coaches. They'll learn key leadership, team-building and communication skills that'll not only help them on the pitch, but also off the pitch within key aspects of their future. With most children's social life being taken up with the rise of computers and mobile phones, sport is a great way to get your children outside and away from the television screen!
Sport can have a massive positive impact on a child's self esteem and confidence. If they receive plenty of praise and encouragement, from coaches and parents, this will help to build their self confidence and in turn, will help them to succeed on and off the pitch. On the other hand constructive criticism is also a major part of sport and although young athletes may not always want to hear it, they need to accept criticism and use it to their benefit, by learning from it.
Children that participate in sport often excel academically, as they can apply the same principles and hard work they learn through sport to their studies, if they put in the same amount of dedication. Physical activity helps children develop and improve their cognitive skills, as well as improving their concentration, attention and classroom behaviour. Encourage them to take part in sport and apply the same hard work to their studies!
Sport is not just extremely beneficial for children but it's also great for all adults too - get involved in sport today and encourage young athletes to take part as well! For more information, take a look at this interesting fact sheet.